If you have considered filing for divorce in Massachusetts, the first thing you need to know is that there are residency requirements that must be met. One of the spouses must be a resident of the state if the reason for the dissolution of the marriage occurred in Massachusetts. If the reason for the divorce happened elsewhere, the spouse filing for divorce must have lived in the state for at least one year prior to filing.
When it comes to the grounds that are considered acceptable for granting divorces, Massachusetts looks at the following causes: adultery, impotency, desertion for one year, drug addiction, abusive treatment, neglect, incarceration, or an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. A Massachusetts divorce attorney will help you determine what to state on your petition.
If you wish to obtain legal separation from your spouse in lieu of divorce, the state will recognize your petition and the court may pass orders regarding the support and care of the spouse or any minor children. Courts may also revise a legal separation judgment based on circumstances of the spouse or children.
When determining who will obtain what property, Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, meaning property that was acquired after the marriage will be divided evenly. However, the court will consider several factors, including the length of the marriage, age and health of the spouses, income of each spouse, and other aspects.
Child support and alimony are also tricky areas, and the court will evaluate several factors to see who qualifies. As far as child custody is concerned, either parent may be awarded custody as long as it is in the child’s best interest.
For more information on divorce rules, contact a divorce lawyer in Massachusetts today.